Recently, DeGroot and I shared a root beer float made with Tacoma's Ice Cream Social vanilla at the Crown Bar, right down the street. We reflected on how simple and perfect a concoction that is. It got me thinking that some of the very best food preparations are the simplest.
When I mentioned this to Nancy Leson, she was quick to weigh in with some of her favorite simple preparations.
"Man, I have a long list of them, starting with roast chicken. There's nothing more perfect than a well-roasted chicken to me." But she couldn't leave well enough alone. "Except maybe one where you roast carrots on the bottom." She had to get fancy.
Nancy also mentioned a simple dish of orzo, the rice-shaped pasta, and butter. That reminded me of my teenage favorite, a bowl of Mueller's alphabet noodles soaked in Franco-American canned brown gravy. I swore I'd have it every day when I grew up.
Of course, now that I am grown up, I don't. Instead, I make my own brown gravy and painstakingly form each alphabet noodle by hand.
Back to the R.B. Float. It was invented in Nancy's home town, Philly, by Robert Green in 1910 and there's a method to its floatness: Fill the glass only three-quarters full with root beer. Then plop in the ice cream and pour more root beer over for a nice frothy head.
Looking beyond the usual suspects for root beers? Try this root-beer-centric "Food for Thought."
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." – Leonardo da Vinci